Reasonably Ascertainable Reality

Thoughts and musings on current events and other random occurrences.

Location: South Jersey, United States

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Travelling Woman

I'm headed to London tomorrow for the weekend. Yes...just the weekend. Going to celebrate a friends birthday. The whole weekend should be a blur but it will be worth it to celebrate, finally, not being the only one of my friend who is 30!

My friend is quite the political left winger and extremely intelligent. She makes me look like Ronald Reagan. I'm sure we'll be having many conversations in our short time together. If anything, it is good sometimes to get an outsiders view...should be fairly enlightening. I'll report more when I come back!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Anyone See a Trend?

Just wondering.

When President Bush signed the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act
this month, he included an addendum saying that he did not feel obliged to obey
requirements that he inform Congress about how the FBI was using the act's
expanded police powers.

...In the statement, Bush said that he did not consider himself bound
to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite
the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that
disclosure would ''impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative
process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional

Bush wrote: ''The executive branch shall construe the provisions .
. . that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive
branch . . . in a manner consistent with the president's constitutional
authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information
. . . "

The statement represented the latest in a string of high-profile
instances in which Bush has cited his constitutional authority to bypass a

After The New York Times disclosed in December that Bush had
authorized the military to conduct electronic surveillance of Americans'
international phone calls and e-mails without obtaining warrants, as required by
law, Bush said his wartime powers gave him the right to ignore the warrant

And when Congress passed a law forbidding the torture of any
detainee in US custody, Bush signed the bill but issued a signing statement
declaring that he could bypass the law if he believed using harsh interrogation
techniques was necessary to protect national security.

Thank God we have a President who is willing to bypass the LEGISLATIVE branch of government and do whatever the hell he wants. Where are all those people who were screaming about "activist" judges now?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Thanks "Mavericks"

In one of the worst ideas to come out of this NSA scandal yet, the so-called Senate Mavericks (Hagel, Snowe, and Graham) along with Senator Dewine introduced the Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006, which among other things would provide the President with authority to conduct electronic surveillance without a court order for up to 45 days if its in the best interests of the American people. He can renew the surveillance if he deems it necessary (again) to protect the American people.

I guess that settles the NSA scandal question of whether it was legal or not for the President to have engaged in this behavior. It will be legal NOW. I think Snowe, Hagel and Graham feel infinitely better about themselves already.

I have one question. If what was happening was legal, why do we need this new piece of legislation?

Hat tip, Glenn Greenwald, who is doing great commentary on this.

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